She was not unwilling, so they
went to the couch to take their rest, whereon they were caught in the
toils which cunning Hephaistos had spread for them, and could neither
get up nor stir hand or foot, but found too late that they were in a
trap. Then Hephaistos came up to them, for he had turned back before
, when his scout the sun told him what was going on.
He was in a furious passion, and stood in the vestibule making a
dreadful noise as he shouted to all the gods.
"Father Zeus," he cried, "and all
you other blessed gods who live for ever, come here and see the
ridiculous and disgraceful sight that I will show you. Zeus’
daughter Aphrodite is always dishonoring me because I am lame. She is
in love with Ares, who is handsome and clean built, whereas I am a
cripple - but my parents are responsible [aitioi] for
that, not I; they ought never to have begotten me. Come and see the
pair together asleep on my bed. It makes me furious to look at them.
They are very fond of one another, but I do not think they will lie
there longer than they can help, nor do I think that they will sleep
much; there, however, they shall stay till her father has repaid me
the sum I gave him for his baggage of a daughter, who is fair but not
On this the gods gathered to the
house of Hephaistos. Earth-encircling Poseidon came, and Hermes the
bringer of luck, and lord Apollo, but the goddesses stayed at home
all of them for shame. Then the givers of all good things stood in
the doorway, and the blessed gods roared with inextinguishable
laughter, as they saw how cunning Hephaistos had been, whereon one
would turn towards his neighbor saying:
"Ill deeds do not bring
aretê, and the weak confound the strong. See how limping
Hephaistos, lame as he is, has caught Ares who is the fleetest god in
heaven; and now Ares will be cast in heavy damages."